West Ayton Crossing in May 2009 looking west. To the right is Forge Valley station building.

West Ayton Crossing

Located next to Forge Valley station in West Ayton, this cottage guarded the gates of Garth End Road. At times it has been referenced as the "porters cottage", demonstrating that the staff at the station lived here, their duties including operation of the crossing gates.

Today the cottage retains much of its original character.


George Wellburn was a porter at Forge Valley station for the opening of the line. Recorded in the 1891 Census, he lived at the "West Ayton Porters Cottage" with his wife and children and would go on to serve 39 years, retiring in 1921.


In 1911, George Wellburn was still at the cottage working as a porter at Forge Valley Station, but his now thirty three year old daughter Eva Maude Wellburn was recorded as being the gatekeeper.


In 1921, George Wellburn had retired, but was still resident at the cottage and his daughter Eva Maude was the gatekeeper.